So you have finally looked into creating a blog? That is a very bold move you just made. But there 12 things to do before starting a blog, as well as the things to know before starting a blog.
There is a mistake that over 95% of persons who are new to blogging make while starting a blog, especially if it’s a personal blog.
They are always in a hurry to start designing, creating, and publishing posts, even sharing links for people to read. In return, they expect people to pay attention to their blogs without doing the basics they need to turn the outlook of their blog from seeking attention to getting attention.
You need to complete some necessary steps before making your blog public, or even before sharing your links. This is to keep your visitors at bay, making them keep coming back for more. If you check the analytics of some blogs, you will find that they don’t need to spam your inbox with lots of emails before you visit them.
People open their web browsers and type the URL of such sites because they know that they will find some useful information they need.
The 12 Things To Do Before Starting A Blog
1. Choosing a Blog Niche
For the uninitiated, a blog niche is a topic or subject that your blog is about. It could be anything; blogging, business, health care, industry, entrepreneurship, fashion, dating, gossip, e-commerce, football, fitness, gaming, name them. This is the first step you must follow before starting a blog, and you should spend more time planning this than you should spend actually designing your blog. I will tell you why.
When I decided to create my first blog, I never really knew why, or what my blog should be about, what I aim to achieve by creating the blog. I just do some research about a topic and boom! I publish a post, share the link and that was it. Well, I was foolish enough to expect any reasonable result from such practice. And guess where that landed me; I will unpublish the blog, and create another, and yet another, and so on, till I finally understood the importance of planning your niche even before choosing a blog theme.
How to Choose a Niche:
- It should be specific.
- It should be unique – You will find tips on how to make your blog stand out as you keep reading.
- You should be knowledgeable in the niche.
- Your Niche Should Not Be Seasonal.
- Should offer solutions to problems.
Also, Read; 9 Best Blog Niches in Health: By Profitability
2. Branding Your Niche
The next step in creating a blog after choosing a niche is to customize and brand your niche. This is one of the most important steps you must take to make your blog stand out. It involves:
i. Choosing a befitting title for your blog
The title must suit the niche of your blog. It should not be off the point as it may confuse your reader as to what you really have to offer.
ii. Choosing the perfect web URL
Here are my four tips for choosing a perfect web URL:
- It must be easy to remember
- It Should be as short as possible for easy typing into the search engine
- It should be related to the content of your niche.
- Don’t include characters that are not alphanumeric. Always keep it simple or else it is very necessary
iii. Designing a Logo
After choosing a title, you need to design a simple logo to use as a favicon and to make your blog unique. A good logo is simple and easy to picture.
iv. Choosing a Killer Caption/Tagline
A tagline is the description of your blog. It normally does not exceed 150 characters for a blogger. Your caption should summarize all about your blog just in a simple sentence. An ideal caption for a good search engine optimization is usually within 75 to 135 characters. A good tagline should make all your blog visitors understand the target audience of your blog.
3. Choosing a Server
It is necessary to understand what you want to achieve with your blog before choosing a hosting server like blogspot.com or wordpress.com.Blogger and WordPress are the two most popular hosts for new bloggers. They both help you to create, design, and publish content on your blog for free.
4. Designing the Blog
There are some considerations you need to make before designing your blog and they include:
i. Does your theme fit your niche?
It is ideal to do some research before choosing various features in your blog theme. Like the color combinations, the font, etc. A good theme can increase your traffic as people will always want to hang around your blog because it makes them feel at home.
ii. How easy is it for people to navigate your site?
You should set your blog layout in a way that all relevant pages are visible and easy to access. Always include the Search Widget to help people to easily search for items and topics on your site.
iii. How fast is your site?
People don’t have time to hang around a particular site for long or else it is really necessary. So you should optimize your site in a way that the pages load fast for easy accessibility to viewers.
5. The Standard Blog Pages
Before you think of publishing a blog post, some pages are a must-have if you ever want to make it far in your blog. These pages are requirements before you can set up your site to start earning using Google Adsense. These pages include;
This is the main page of your site which automatically opens once someone visits your site. All links to other pages should be contained on this page.
Terms and Conditions Page
This is where you outline the rules of using your website; the dos and the don’ts, the advantages, and the disadvantages if any.
Here you inform your web visitors about the information you collect from them and how you handle this information. Whether their private details are accessible to third-party sites, or not.
Here you tell your audience what your blog is about, about you or the founders, and what your aims and objectives are.
Here you give your users your contact information, your email address, phone numbers if they are necessary for your business.
It is said that no man is a master of all. Sometimes, you may make some mistakes in the information you share on your blog, or the information may get outdated. So this page will help you to exonerate yourself assuming someone gets hurt in any way while using the information gotten from your site. Here, you inform your audience that using the information gotten from your site is at the user’s risk.
6. Getting Social
For you to build stable blog traffic, you must have access to the right people who needs your information. These days, getting social has never been much easier with multiple social channels available. You should start by creating social accounts using various platforms if you don’t have one.
Facebook, Twitter, and Whatsapp are very good places to start. Make people anticipate your blog. Design posters and flyers and tell them about when you plan on launching the site. This act alone will boost your confidence when you want to start sharing your blog content.
7. Start Building Your Network From Day One
You should start interacting with your audience from the first day you launched the blog. The best tool to help you achieve this is through e-mail marketing which I will teach you in my coming posts. E-mail marketing helps your audience to receive a customized email about your new blog content. It is a good way to boost your site traffic.
8. Know Your Audience
Sometimes, it’s better to carry out a survey to know what people want to hear before writing a post. Or else it’s a research article, it is always good to teach people what they are interested in learning.
You can’t force someone to read content that doesn’t solve any of their problems. One of the ways to carry out this survey is by using polls and voting tools in various social channels. Ask people what they want to learn from a myriad of topics that you are knowledgeable at, and publish your next post based on that. Also, always try to use a tone that is specific to your audience in your blog posts. You should not be selfish, your visitors are kings and your content should treat them like one.
9. Writing Your First Blog Post
Here is where the hurdle starts because you need to make a very good first impression. Once your first post is engaging, people will always come back to read what your next post is all about. Your first blog post, depending on your niche should always be enticing and should be persuasive enough to initiate new persons into your niche. Give them reasons why they should keep coming back.
- Hemmingway App
- Yoast SEO
- INK SEO
- Google Docs, etc.
Apart from YOAST SEO, all others are free to use and can help you create mind-blowing content.
At times you may get lazy to write, find creative ways of posting contents.
10. Website Verification
Before you start sharing your first blog posts, the next step is to verify your website on all popular search engines like; Google, Bing, Facebook, Yandex, Pinterest, etc.
WordPress has an already built in verification system for most of the search engines which you can find on your WordPress dashboard under Tools and “Available Tools”.
For others like Facebook, you have to do the verification yourself by visiting Facebook Business Tool. And if you don’t do this, you run the risk of getting your web URL marked as spam by Facebook bots and if you get blocked, it is usually difficult to unblock it.
Here is a complete guide on how to verify your website and a new blog on Facebook.
10. Sharing The Blog Posts
Before starting a blog, always have a strategy on how to share your published posts. Before then, you must have known the various social channels you want to use in publicizing your posts. Have a schedule on when your posts are published. Don’t just dump contents anytime you want. Plan it so that it will reach the maximum audience needed. Also, remember not to spam people’s inbox with posts, it’s annoying and wears people out.
11. Always Have Something To Gain
Or else you plan on running a charity organization or you are just looking for fame, who doesn’t want to earn some money from content he/she labored so much to create? Starting a blog has diverse ways that it can add some extra cash to your wallet, but most of these methods require consistency and patience.
In the book; the advanced blog setup for beginners, I outlined some of the secrets which I have seen some top bloggers use to make money, and it works out perfectly for them.
12. What Matters the Most is a Clear Goal
This is the most important part of it all. You need to have a very clear goal in mind about what you need to achieve with your site. You should never deviate from your central message. But there is always room to modify some topics to suit certain seasons.
Always remember that success is steady progress to the personal goals you set. Starting a blog is not an easy feat, but if you can take things slowly, and finish up these preliminary steps listed above, you will find that your blog will have a very solid foundation, which will make it last longer.